Aston Martin was not under the illusion that 2019 would be a stellar year. After issuing a recent profit warning, the British automaker fired off another this week after realizing it ended up being a worse year than initially feared. Aston’s stock has lost 3 billion pounds in market value since the company’s initial public offering in 2018.
While retail sales were technically up last year, climbing 12 percent, total wholesales fell by 7 percent. According to the manufacturer, gains were made thanks to the redesigned Vantage (introduced in 2018). Unfortunately, that also caused some headaches. Despite being a six-figure car, at Aston Martin the model is technically an entry level, and its high take rate actually resulted in a lower average selling price across Aston’s business for Q4. Combine that with an overall increase in leased vehicles upping financing costs and you’re beginning to see part of the problem.
After years of rumors and real-world development, Aston Martin has finally joined the SUV crew. Among its members these days? Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, and Jaguar, with the likes of Lotus and Ferrari eager to join this high-riding posse of automotive misfits.
The DBX is a two-row utility vehicle boasting a profile you can find elsewhere in the industry and an engine sourced from the Germans. It’s a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 borrowed from AMG, and it motivates this largest-ever Aston with 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Price? If you need to ask, you cannot afford.
Keen to expand into new segments and redefine itself as an auto brand, Aston Marin is now a publicly traded company with a crossover vehicle on the horizon. The plan, established by CEO Andy Palmer and about as novel as dirt, was due for a checkup last week. Sadly, the automaker was not released with a clean bill of health. Aston reported a pre-tax loss of £78.8 million ($92 million) in the six months ending in June.
Speaking with the media, Palmer argued that the company had done well in the first quarter but claimed economic conditions and dwindling dealer interest had hurt the business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The United States performed comparatively better — possibly due to the marque bringing on Tom Brady as a brand ambassador, even though at least two of the cars built with the athlete’s name on them have already passed through the secondhand market $100,000 below sticker. Unfortunately, minor victories weren’t nearly enough to keep the firm’s share price from tumbling downward like an allegedly deflated football.
Gearing up to sell its own four-door, all-electric sedan in a couple years, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told well-heeled listeners in Monterey, California that Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed” was plain ol’ dumb, Automotive News reported.
“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” Palmer said.
(But selling a variation of a four-door Aston Martin that’s been on sale for 6 years with a 200-mile range for $200,000 to $250,000? That’s genius.)